Originally Posted by DougofTheAbaci
You obviously haven't been reading very closely. At each turn I've said, "Each one has it's benefits. Macs aren't just crap because they're Macs," and things of that nature. I've actually gone out of my way to be balanced against all the It's-Apple-Therefore-It-Must-Be-Crap crowd. Often that means pointing out the benefits of Mac in order to demonstrate a balance between options. A and B are both good for different reasons. A is better at this and B is better at that. Your needs will define which is better for you.
Take the example of ALAC. As a codec, it's pretty good, giving you good compression for a lossless format. It is, however tied to the iOS ecosystem and a proprietary format. In that sense, FLAC is better. However, FLAC is unsupported on iPods, iPhones and iPads. Were it supported? I'd probably go FLAC.
I could probably use FLAC now on my computer and have it convert to sit on my iPhone, but one of the things I like most about the Apple platform is that I can just let it do it's thing. Knowing how to do something and being able to do it is not the same thing as wanting to. For me, ALAC is best because it works on the devices I use. If someone didn't have an Apple device? I'd probably tell them to use FLAC as it's a great, free, well-supported format. It's just not supported by default on Apple software and devices.
Well, you made your point very well, no doubt there.
I have to agree that there is a rather tight integration between Apple's devices and services, which to an extent can benefit a user that agrees to follow the rules of the Apple ecossystem. Still, simple things like lack of handling portable iDevices storage as common mass storage device is a major hindrance, and was made with accessory sales in mind. A few profiteering things which I honestly despise. Overall, I feel they could be provide much better products and services, even if they already have those in a working level.
While iTunes is still improving on Windows, I feel that it performs optimally on OSX, which was felt by other Apple software, that by itself did perform rather well in its native environment, but when ported to Windows, things crumbled quite a bit, so to speak.
Oh, and let me be clear that I think Apple hardware (namely Mac Pro) can be very capable and powerful, while I have a rather opposite opinion regarding iTunes. It's almost like the smartphone, a device with multiple hardware features, that when scrutinized, one quickly realizes that it doesn't do any single feature at a level of excellence, even if it can do all those tasks acceptably.
Still, I wonder what further improvements can (lossless) formats have. Perhaps better compression ratios, though that would bring the risk of higher cpu loads in order to do real time decoding. Eventually, real improvements will have to come from hardware manufacturers. This, out of my head.
Edited by Roller - 5/19/11 at 8:57pm